25 Summer Dessert Recipes to Make All Season Long

From fruity ice pops to cookout-worthy baked goods, we’ve got everything you need to savor the season.

May 19, 2023

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Our Favorite Summer Dessert Ideas

Summer just wouldn’t be complete without sweet treats, whether that means baking a batch of blondies to share with a crowd or treating yourself to summer fruit dessert after a day of berry picking. Every picnic, barbecue and bonfire is an opportunity not only to embrace the warm weather and bring together new friends but to test out new recipes. We’ve got ideas for every occasion, including what might be the one true summer dessert: homemade vanilla ice cream. It’s cold, sweet, simple and timeless, yet it’s only the beginning of summer dessert possibilities. The sun is out, so what are you waiting for? Summer dessert planning starts now!

Get the Recipe: Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Lemon Cake

Ina Garten’s light, tangy Lemon Cake recipe is perfectly refreshing for a summer day. Best of all, it uses basic pantry ingredients. If you have lemons, then you can make this cake.

Get the Recipe: Lemon Cake

Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Sugar Butter

This simple dessert is the ultimate finale for a summer barbecue. All you have to do is mix cinnamon, sugar and butter together while the peaches soften on the grill. Then, brush the mixture onto the peaches and let them caramelize.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Sugar Butter

Blackberry Pie

This recipe uses a biscuit cutter to create a stunning cut-out crust. It’s deceptively simple, though. Premade pie crusts save time and make this classy summer dessert easy as pie.

Get the Recipe: Blackberry Pie

Limber de Coco y Piña

Daniela Swamp took inspiration from the piña colada to make these Puerto Rican ice pops. Her recipe is super easy to follow and will cool you down all summer long.

Get the Recipe: Limber de Coco y Piña

Indigenous Dumplings with Berries

Crystal Wahpepah writes, “Berries are as indigenous to American landscapes as are my people. That’s why you’ll find them in savory as well as sweet dishes, powdered for medicinal purposes and crushed for dye. They are a staple of our diets—and they are my jam. This simple recipe is evocative of a traditional stovetop cobbler with pillowy biscuit-like dumplings. The natural sweetness of the blueberries and blackberries is heightened by all-natural grape juice and pure maple syrup. Served warm from the stovetop, it’s both comforting and invigorating--and a window into my story with food.”

Get the Recipe: Indigenous Dumplings with Berries

Peanut Butter Blondie Ice Cream Sandwiches

For peanut butter fans, try Molly Yeh’s Peanut Butter Blondie Ice Cream Sandwiches! Molly mixes peanut butter into her blondie batter and swirls it into her vanilla ice cream when assembling these sandwiches. She uses vanilla ice cream in her demonstration, but you can make yours with any flavor you like.

Get the Recipe: Peanut Butter Blondie Ice Cream Sandwiches

No-Churn Matcha Ice Cream

You don’t need any special equipment to make this homemade ice cream! Just whisk the ingredients together, fold in some whipped cream and freeze in a metal loaf pan. The bitterness of the matcha makes this a great choice for those who don’t like super sweet desserts.

Get the Recipe: No-Churn Matcha Ice Cream

Peach Cobbler Pound Cake

Peach cobbler is a quintessential summer dessert. Eddie Jackson puts a new spin on it by merging it with the buttery richness of pound cake. Serve this cake with macerated peaches and homemade brown sugar whipped cream to impress any guest.

Get the Recipe: Peach Cobbler Pound Cake

Frozen Chocolate-Covered Bananas

Kelly Senyei’s recipe is fruity, chocolatey and frozen. In other words, it’s the summer dessert trifecta. All you need is some bananas, white chocolate, vegetable oil and an eye for decoration. Top the bananas with anything you want: chopped nuts, toasted coconut, sprinkles, peanut butter, you name it!

Get the Recipe: Frozen Chocolate-Covered Bananas

Tres Leches Cake

Marcela Valladolid’s Tres Leches Cake recipe is easy, light and not too sweet. Make sure to decorate the cake with peaks of frosting, in the Mexican tradition.

Get the Recipe: Tres Leches Cake

Watermelon, Chili and Basil Ice Pops

If you like bold flavor combos, this recipe is for you. These ice pops have it all: sweetness, saltiness, tanginess and heat. What more could you want in a frozen treat?

Get the Recipe: Watermelon, Chili and Basil Ice Pops

Baklava Blondies

If you’re tired of brownies or regular blondies, try baking a batch of these for your next summer gathering! Molly Yeh’s recipe was inspired by baklava, a nutty, spiced, honey-soaked dessert popular in the Middle East, Turkey and Greece. Molly swaps phyllo dough for blondie batter and tops her dessert with honey frosting.

Get the Recipe: Baklava Blondies

Lemon-Blueberry Sunshine Tart

How adorable is this tart?! Food Network Kitchen’s inventive recipe combines the bright flavors and colors of lemons and blueberries to create a show-stopping summer dessert. And while the star looks like it came from a mold, all you need to make it is aluminum foil.

Get the Recipe: Lemon-Blueberry Sunshine Tart

The Best Coconut Layer Cake

We wanted to achieve the best coconut layer cake, and this one delivers. It will truly put all other coconut cakes to shame—the bar has now been set! This recipe serves 10 to 12, so it’s a great option to bring to a barbecue—and impress everyone there.

Get the Recipe: The Best Coconut Layer Cake

Mocha Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

For many, ice cream sandwiches are a childhood favorite. This recipe from Food Network Kitchen makes a more grown-up version of the summer treat with coffee ice cream sandwiched between homemade brownies and adorned with chocolate-covered espresso beans.

Get the Recipe: Mocha Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Strawberry Shortcake

Summer is strawberry season, and they really shine in Alex Guarnaschelli’s Strawberry Shortcake. Alex assembles her shortcake with juicy, macerated strawberries, fresh whipped cream and her secret ingredient: raspberry sorbet.

Get the Recipe: Strawberry Shortcake

Blueberry, Thyme and Sweet Cream Ice Pops

These gorgeous purple pops bring together Maine blueberries, sweetened condensed milk and fresh thyme for an elegant frozen treat. If thyme’s not your thing, they’ll still be delicious without it. And if you fall in love with this recipe and wish you could make it year round, then you’re in luck—frozen Maine blueberries are available whenever you’re craving a taste of summer.

Get the Recipe: Blueberry, Thyme and Sweet Cream Ice Pops

Mango Cupcakes

If you’re looking for a summer cupcake recipe, try this one from Dan Langan. Dan uses white cake as a base, then decorates the cupcakes with a homemade mango buttercream and sliced almonds.

Get the Recipe: Mango Cupcakes

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

Samantha Seneviratne’s white chocolate cheesecake bars boast a beautiful raspberry swirl. Her easy recipe yields 18 servings, making it a great choice for a picnic, barbecue or party. Samantha recommends using a high quality white chocolate for the best possible flavor.

Get the Recipe: White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

Skillet S'Mores

Nothing says “summer” like s’mores. You’ve made them over campfires and backyard fire pits, and now you can make them right in your kitchen! A rainy day will never stop you again.

Get the Recipe: Skillet S'Mores

Vanilla Caramel Bourbon Milkshake

For anyone who says vanilla is boring, just try this milkshake. Bobby Flay’s decadent recipe puts vanilla front and center with a homemade Vanilla Bourbon Caramel Sauce. It’s a luxurious treat for any hot day.

Get the Recipe: Vanilla Caramel Bourbon Milkshake

Key Lime Pie Lush

Need an easy, no-bake summer dessert to feed a crowd? Look no further. Food Network Kitchen melds the tanginess of key lime pie with the rich creaminess of cheesecake in this quick, delicious recipe.

Get the Recipe: Key Lime Pie Lush

Dark Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate mousse is a culinary school classic, but don’t let that intimidate you! Bobby Flay’s recipe takes just three steps and is sure to please at any summer party.

Get the Recipe: Dark Chocolate Mousse

Coffee Snow Cone

This recipe will both cool you down and perk you up on a hot day, and it couldn’t be more straightforward. Just mix together coffee, sugar and vanilla, pour it into a baking dish, and freeze. When it’s ready, shave it into bowls or cups with a fork—no snow cone machine required.

Get the Recipe: Coffee Snow Cone

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